Jamaica will be under a week-long nightly curfew beginning tomorrow, April 1.
The curfew, to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), was announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness during a digital media briefing broadcast from Jamaica House last evening.
The new measure, which will run from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am daily until April 8, is due in part to the continued refusal of some Jamaicans to restrict their movements and self-quarantine if they have recently entered the country.
Holness said there has been a high degree of compliance with earlier announced measures, however there continues to be movement by Jamaicans at a time when a spike in infections is expected.
“So we are still having a considerable number of persons who have come into the island who we cannot say with certainty that they were faithful to the quarantine rules, and therefore they are generally abroad within the society, they are within the country moving around. The challenge with that is that that could be the precursor of community spread, and so the more you are moving around the more likely it is that we could have an increase in the numbers.”
He continued “Of course, we will have to make the regular exemptions that are usually made when curfews are called, for medical staff, security forces, essential services, and special provisions will be made for other critical industries. That will be announced very early (today) when the Gazette is published. We ask everyone to make the necessary arrangements in their daily affairs to ensure that everyone can be off the road.”
Restrictions will also be placed on public transportation and all movement with the exceptions for those deemed to be workers in essential services.
The country has recorded 36 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with one death.